The battle took place on a giant field, which was good because you had to fight three mobs at once. Two of your six party members "kite" two of the mobs, while the other four fight the remaining mob. (Non-players: Kiting is just making the mob hate you and then running away. It follows after you like a kite, and so long as the rest of your party does nothing to you (such as heal you), the mob will ignore everyone except the person kiting it.) As each of the three mobs were very, very hard, fighting it with only four people was a challenge in and of itself -- never mind the two kiters who had to keep themselves alive till the other four killed the first (or second) one.
Many people who did the battle recommended not bringing a WHM and having everyone else just carry lots of meds and keep themselves alive. I strongly agree with that. You can carry enough stuff, and the extra fighter makes a big difference.
It was also said that if one person is not prepared or is a poor player, that he can make the whole party lose. Unfortunately this was very true as well. Our LS sent three parties into this battle, and one of them was stuck with a player who was totally unprepared and lacked the skill to pull his own weight. My only regret is that I hadn't spoken up louder to get him tossed out, and my friends in that party paid the price for him being there. I know none of us will never, ever, ever do any sort of event with this individual in the future. He put himself ahead of the group. He should have bowed out. I told him outright he should step aside, but he did not, and people who put mega time and money into this paid for that. I'm really, really sorry for the people who lost because of him.
My party, on the other hand, did really really well. Though I hadn't partied with two of them before, everyone came totally prepared. Four of the six of us spoke at the same time once the final mob died -- we all asked a variation of the same question: "Did that seem easy to you, too?" And it was. We would have set the new battlefield record if we hadn't lingered over cutscenes. The single death we had was because of a macro error (in this battle, everyone has to expect at least one death, usually more). It couldn't have gone smoother. It was a very busy fight (I hadn't had time to fire off hardly any bolts), but it went really really well.
Very surprisingly: (technical detail for players, this probably won't make sense to non-players) Almost every single one of my absorb spells worked. When our normal XP mobs resist them left and right, I fully expected them to be resisted in these fights. I absorbed MND (so the mages' debuffs would stick better), AGI (so the mobs wouldn't dodge as well), and VIT (so our blows would hurt them more). Also, when my bolts landed (two of three times? two of four times?) the effect (defense down) always worked. Very, very odd.
I had walked into the battle with 225,000 gil worth of meds and food -- things I fully intended to eat/use and never see a cent back on. I also had to buy 3 new pieces of armor (level 40 cap, and you want the best stuff possible). I used just barely over half of the meds, and no food other than one of my usual jack o'lanterns. I've sold most of the un-used stuff back already, and have recovered about 100K. (Yay!)
Though the fight ended hours ago, I'm still sort of confused that it was so easy. I had myself in such a nervous state for days ahead of it, and I was pacing the floor for the 12 hours before it today. It was supposed to be the hardest thing we've done in the game thus far (unless you did rank 6 already), but it was easy. I just don't understand it...
I won't go into spoilers on the story you see before and after it, other than there's massive amounts of it. I spent a couple hour after the fight running here and there just to see new cut scenes. Heck, I don't even remember most of the story, there was so much of it.
I'm only sorry I hadn't thought to make screenshots during the fight. The things we fought were seriously cool looking. (Sort of like shadowy small-ish ninja-y humans.) I have to look in my screenshot folder and see if I got anything interesting from the cutscenes before and after it, and will edit this post if I do.
Edit: Okay, here are a few screenshots. These DO contain spoilers. They're full sized because it's too darned late and already way past my bedtime.
An interesting looking NPC kid. He reminds me of the guy related to the promy quest stuff. Wonder if he's supposed to be the same person?
Same kid, but a wonderfully-timed capture from a cutscene. If not for those mountains at the time, this would so be my new desktop image.
This picture and that picture. I can't even say what's in the images, as that would be a major spoiler. fyrebird, I posted these two muchly for you.